Suspect Enters Plea In 1985 Killing Of TV Director Barry Crane

LAPD Crime Scene Tape. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nick Ut/AP/REX/Shutterstock (6111792d) Police crime scene tape is stretched across a street in South Central Los Angles (
Nick Ut/AP/Shutterstock

The man charged with the 1985 killing of prolific TV director Barry Crane pleaded not guilty Tuesday to one count of murder with a special allegation of using a heavy decorative object during the commission of the crime.

Edwin Hiatt, 53, entered his plea at the Van Nuys courthouse in Los Angeles.

According to prosecutors, Hiatt allegedly bludgeoned Crane to death with a large ceramic statue, and wrapped a telephone cord around his neck. The director was found dead by his housekeeper in his Studio City home.

The case had gone unsolved for decades when in 2006, and again last year, a detective from the LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division requested that evidence found at the crime scene be retested.

Hiatt was linked to the crime through DNA evidence, according to prosecutors. He was arrested in North Carolina in May, and extradited to California on August 15.

Crane was 57 years old at the time of his death. His directing credits included CHiPs, The Incredible Hulk, Mission Impossible, The Six Million Dollar Man, Hawaii Five-O, The Bionic Woman and many other popular series.

Hiatt is next scheduled to appear in court on December 17.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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